Sunwolves get Britz back
TEAM ANNOUNCEMENT: Sunwolves head coach Filo Taitia has named South African Willem Britz to start against the Highlanders on Saturday at Rugby Park Stadium.
Britz missed his side's 3-50 defeat against the Crusaders and will run out in the No. 8 jersey. The South African replaces Rahboni Warren-Vosayaco, who moves to the bench.
In the back, Willaim Tupou comes in at outside centre, while Timothy Lafaele moves to the inside.
Hoping to stun his former side is Fumiaki Tanaka, the scrumhalf left the Highlanders last season and is keen to test his improvement this Saturday.
"I am really excited to go up against the Highlanders. I still have a special place in my heart for them and the fixture will show me how I have improved since last season," Tanaka said.
"Our set-pieces have improved and our backs have been preparing well for the task at hand," he added.
Head coach Tiatia shared his thoughts on the return of Britz and Tupou.
"I am very excited to get Britz back for the game against Highlanders, I cannot wait to see him in action.
"Tupou has not played since the match against Cheetahs in Round Four in South Africa, and I'm keen to see him get an opportunity to prove himself this week," Tiatia said.
"The Highlanders and Sunwolves have a great connection, I know they are going to be well prepared, so we have to prepare to take the challenge to them.
"We have to improve from our poor performance against the Crusaders," Tiatia added.
Sunwolves: 15 Kotaro Matsushima, 14 Takaaki Nakazuru, 13 William Tupou, 12 Timothy Lafaele, 11 Yasutaka Sasakura, 10 Yu Tamura, 9 Fumiaki Tanaka, 8 Willem Britz, 7 Yuhimaru Mimura, 6 Edward Quirk (captain), 5 Uwe Helu, 4 Sam Wykes, 3 Yasuo Yamaji, 2 Yusuke Niwai, 1 Keita Inagaki.
Replacements: 16 Takeshi Kizu, 17 Koki Yamamoto, 18 Heiichiro Ito, 19 Shinya Makabe, 20 Rahboni Warren Vosayaco, 21 Yuki Yatomi, 22 Hayden Cripss, 23 Jamie-Jerry Taulagi.
Date: Saturday, April 22
Venue: Rugby Park Stadium, Invercargill
Kick-off: 17.15 (14.15 Japan Time; 05.15 GMT)
Referee: Jamie Nutbrown (New Zealand)
Assistant referees: Mike Fraser (New Zealand), Cam Stone (New Zealand)
TMO: Glenn Newman (New Zealand)